Peggy Bowes: My heavenly biking partners
More than 20 years ago, my future husband introduced me to the sport of road biking, and it's been my favorite form of exercise ever since. I have biked thousands of miles, in all parts of the country, finding adventure, friendship and fitness along the way. I never guessed at the time that my bike would actually enhance my spiritual life.
I prefer to ride with my husband or a friend, but my commitments as wife, mother and freelance writer compel me to do most of my rides by myself. I often use the time alone to pray. I find that the combination of rhythmic pedaling and the beauty of nature really clears my mind, especially for meditation on the mysteries of the rosary.
My husband and friends worry about me riding alone, but they needn't because I have all kinds of heavenly protection. It all started a few years ago when I began to invite St. Christopher to accompany me on my rides to protect me and the travelers who shared the roads with me. Every time I narrowly avoided an accident, I knew that my heavenly protector was at work.
Later, I added St. Francis of Assisi as a biking partner after a scare with a country dog. I have since collided with a squirrel and a bulldog and had a near miss with a snake. Thanks to St. Francis, I never crashed and safely rode away from each encounter with nary a bump or bruise.
When I discovered that both Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Pier Giorgio were cyclists, I asked them to tag along. I pray that they will watch over my bike and prevent any malfunction and keep me from making any decisions that might endanger myself or others.
I wanted to add some female companionship, and found saintly athletes St. Gianna, St. Theresa of the Andes and St. Lidwina to join my entourage. Of course, it's a given that my constant companion, my guardian angel, is also part of my heavenly peloton.
As I ride the meandering country roads of Surry County, I pass many small cemeteries. They serve as a constant reminder to pray for the poor souls in purgatory. I've read that these souls are overjoyed to be asked to pray for others, so I invite them to join in the prayer intentions of my rosary workout.
I'm never lonely on these rides and can happily pedal for 30 miles or more, knowing that I am being protected from above. (Of course, I am still very careful and obey the rules of the road!)
I always return from these rides refreshed in both body and soul. I wish everyone could see this holy parade of angels, saints and souls floating behind my Fuji Supreme road bike. Then perhaps more people would take up cycling – or maybe more cyclists would start praying.
Peggy Bowes is a member of Holy Angels Church in Mount Airy and author of "The Rosary Workout."
Father Patrick Winslow: What can we learn from Pope Francis?It appears as if popes have something on their mind when first elected. One might call it a diagnosis and a proposed remedy for current ails. With Pope John Paul II, it was a message of hope to a world filled with fear. One can still hear him...
David Hains: Close that unhealthy health centerThe Gosnell abortion mill in Philadelphia and A Preferred Woman's Health Center in Charlotte have something in common: little regard for human life. It should come as no surprise that women are being mistreated in these facilities since...
Peggy Bowes: Honor thy mother: Devotions to Mary"We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor His Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son." — St. Louis de Montfort,...
Father Shawn O'Neal: In this debate, remember Church teaching on human rightsAs a means to develop a comprehensive plan to reform our nation's current immigration system, a group of senators has introduced legislation formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."...
Father Matthew Buettner: Radical ChristianityRecently, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Three young people died in the explosion, including an 8-year-old boy who received his first Holy Communion just 11 months ago. Along with these...
The Poor Clares: Joy and sacrificeSt. Paul was a man passionate with zeal and consumed by love for God and desire for the salvation of souls. His actions and words were geared toward one purpose: the claiming of souls from the dominion of the devil, and the deceit used by him...
Brian Williams:The honest 411 on Vatican III recently had the opportunity to take a class about the Second Vatican Council offered through a diocesan adult education program. While much was covered within a relatively short span of four classes, one subject occupied much of our time...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Vatican II called for post-conciliar liturgical adaptationsThe April 26 Catholic News Herald commentary entitled "The Honest 411 on Vatican II" discussed a participant's experience at an adult education series in the diocese. The course, "The 411 on...
Warrior saints are found throughout historyRegarding the April 26 letter criticizing St. Nicholas of Flue, I am disgusted that an American would insinuate that a soldier who distinguishes himself or herself in combat is not following...
Who would be worthy?In a letter in the April 26 Catholic News Herald, St. Nicholas of Flue was referred to as someone who "did not follow those teachings" of Christ because he defended the faith with his sword and...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy